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Bennu sample container (NASA)

Initial studies of the 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid Bennu sample collected in space and brought to Earth by NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) show evidence of high-carbon content and water, which together could indicate the building blocks of life on Earth may be found in the rock.

NASA made the news Wednesday from its Johnson Space Center in Houston where leadership and scientists showed off the asteroid material for the first time since it landed in September.

Read more at this NASA article.

Psyche ready for launch (illustration: NASA)

Meanwhile, NASA is preparing to launch their next mission to study asteroid Psyche. The launch of the mission, also called Psyche, is slated for 12 October from Kennedy Space center atop of SpaceX Falcon Heavy launcher.

If all goes well, the spacecraft reaches the asteroid in 2029. After that it will spend about 26 months in orbit, gathering images and other data.

More info about the Psyche mission is on its own page.